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Showing posts from February, 2011

10 More minutes: From gift economies to celebration economies

An article by Richard Heinberg, "Economic History in 10 Minutes" which I read the other day, inspired me to look a bit more into more elaborate economies than simply gift/tribal based, that might escape people's thoughts as they search for alternatives to the current (failed?) economic system. 

His article is a good summary of a lot of peak oiler economics although I've heard him and others say these things before lots of times and in different ways. Heinberg points to our  addiction to fossil fuels as the central reason for lots of current problems, and the article treasures hunter gatherer cultures with their gift economies as a possible future or as something to move towards. Doing something in 10 minutes is bound to leave something out. It would be easy to believe, reading his article, that we once were all happy and shared everything, then - boom! - iPods. (He actually says "So letting go of the gift economy was a trade-off for progress—houses, cities, cars…